Easy Ways To Help Your Child Settle At Night
In an ideal world, we would kiss our kids goodnight, turn off the light and they would very quickly be in the land of nod. Unfortunately, it is not an ideal world and many parents find themselves having to pour water, answer questions and fix the bed about ten times before their little ones finally settle down.
If this sounds like your bedtime routine, you’re most certainly not alone. In fact, a FamilyFriendlyHQ reader got in touch recently, looking for advice for her seven-year who “takes forever to settle at night”.
According to the mum, the boy constantly gets back up with random excuses for what is wrong.
“It could be anything from an itchy eye to a sore leg/arm, to hearing noise or saying he isn't tired. The thing is we know there's nothing actually wrong - he's been doing this since before Christmas and it's like a routine now,” she wrote.
“Every single night at least five times and could take up to two hours to get him to finally stay in bed to go asleep. No matter how late we keep him up he still gets back up even though he's tired.”
We posted the question on our Facebook page, where our readers very quickly got back with their own advice, this is what they said:
1. “He could be anxious and is checking you are still there. Set aside a talk time eg. 7pm and you are exclusively his and discuss any worries ending with fun distraction.”
2. “I have an 8 and 10-year old who do this all the time. The less attention they get and the more discipline I give they settle. Short brief 'go to bed' etc not engaging when it's this craic. Some night there is a problem like forgotten homework and they worry but mostly taking the mickey! I feel bad but they are just chancing it. I threaten Xbox loss etc.”
3. “Yes, it's a routine/ game now that you have to break. Try making a star chart, one step every night, like, dinner, bath, story, bed without getting out, calling you. and give star for every one he completes. On getting full stars he gets a treat.
4. “I've 3 who sometimes take turns with this I put them back and tell them we want no more of it. If they come again I bring them back with no conversation. They get the idea. Sometimes it's attention seeking/ game for them.”